THE OTHER RUNNING MATE…. The Obama campaign released a new ad this morning that offers an interesting take on the McCain campaign’s running mate announcement: Sarah Palin isn’t especially important, because McCain is still just more of the same.

In effect, the message is: “Bush is McCain’s real running mate.”

“Well, he’s made his choice,” the voice-over says, “but for the rest of us there’s still no change. McCain doesn’t get it, calling this broken economy ‘strong.’ Wants to keep spending ten-billion-a-month in Iraq. And votes with George Bush 90 percent of the time. So, while this may be his running-mate, America knows this is John McCain’s agenda. And we can’t afford four more years of the same.”

It’s a compelling strategy: McCain offered four more years of failed policies before his announcement, and he offers four more years of failed policies now. So what difference does a running mate make?

What do you think of the new ad?

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.